Taipei, Taiwan's exports fell 8.8 percent in February from a year earlier to US$20.39 billion, the fourth consecutive month of year-on-year decline, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Imports in the month dropped 19.7 percent from a year earlier to US$15.47 billion, leaving a trade surplus of US$4.93 billion, up US$1.84 billion from a year earlier, the figures show.
According to the ministry, February's exports were hurt by continued weakness in global demand linked to the trade conflict between the United States and China. The decline was also partly because many exporters had brought forward their shipments to January in anticipation of the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday in February.
On a month-on-month basis, Taiwan's exports fell 25.3 percent and imports were down 41.4 percent in February, the MOF data shows.
By sector, the value of base metal exports fell 17.7 percent from a year earlier to US$1.76 billion in February, while that of chemical exports dropped 16.5 percent to US$1.35 billion, the MOF said.
Machinery exports decreased 12 percent to US$1.58 billion, while exports of electronics components were down 8.3 percent to US$6.42 billion.
Bucking the downturn, exports of information/communication devices and audio/video items rose 9.7 percent from a year earlier to US$2.62 billion in February, the MOF figures show.
China and Hong Kong remained Taiwan's biggest market in February, but exports to those places fell 10.4 percent from a year earlier to US$7.46 billion.
Exports to members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations also fell 12 percent to US$3.55 billion, but those to the United States rose 13.5 percent to US$2.99 billion.
Exports to Europe decreased 15.9 percent to US$2 billion and exports to Japan were down 4.4 percent to US$1.54 billion, the MOF said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel